At the end of Sefer ha-Middot ms. Warsaw (1430), the oldest extant manuscript of the book, is a synopsis of the book's chapters (labeled Simanei Sefer ha-Middot by the scribe). This text fits as the missing summary referred to at the end of the chapter on Memory, where the author wrote: "And the synopses of the general points about human dispositions that are written at the end of the book, one should review them twice a day...". Thus, a part of Sefer ha-Middot that was missing for about six centuries has now been recovered.
The original organization of the chapters in Sefer ha-Middot, unknown for nearly six centuries, can be recovered through this manuscript, solving some knotty problems in the book. This is also the earliest known manuscript of Sefer ha-Middot (Orḥot Ẓaddikim) by far, and as such can help with the correction of the text and dating the composition of the book.
The following materials are currently available on Sefer ha-Middot ha-Qazar (SMQ). Please feel free to download and study them:
The Adlers graciously allowed the book to be photographed for this project (it was never microfilmed for the IMHM). The high-quality photography was done in early 5774 by Rabbi Benjamin Houben, who worked as a volunteer in order to help further research on Sefer ha-Middot, and I am deeply grateful to him for his kind help and for the valuable time and expertise which he donated to this project. At present, copies of the digital photographs are held by myself, the Adler family, and Rabbi Houben. Permission to use them should be requested in writing from the Adlers.
MS JTS and MS Adler: Another important manuscript of the body of the book, also apparently from the 15th century, whose accuracy is above average and whose text is highly similar to that of the Adler manuscript, is this one: JTS MS 10262 (SHF 1690:59). The JTS manuscript is missing a large part of the book (about the first 20% of the text from the beginning of the book plus its very end). The first extant page is from שער האהבה (beginning with the words האדם לאהבת כל אדם אשכילך ואורך). Unlike several seemingly later manuscripts which all end simultaneously with the words ועל כן נקרא האדם עולם קטן (and all of which thus presumably derive from a single manuscript that was missing the end from that point), the JTS manuscript contains about a page more (its final extant page goes up to the words וכמו שהאדם דומה מעט מזער לאלהים כן בנין גופו דומה לכל העולם עשה לו גלגולת הראש כמו רקיע השמים שעל הרקיע הזה עשה לו תקרה העליונה של פה ונטועות). In my opinion the Adler and JTS manuscripts are closely related, and it is even possible that both were copied from the very same manuscript (though not one from the other). Because they are so close, they serve as excellent tools for correcting one another, and a combination of the two should be the basis for a critical edition of the body of Sefer ha-Middot (while the organization of the chapters should follow MS Warsaw).New Digital Edition (2010)
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